Feeling it, thinking it, showing it, and effectively communicating it to others are all different and distinct things.
Love isn't a feeling; it's an action. And actions are perceived differently by different people. While I may love two people in the same way and show that love in the same way, they may not perceive it the same. To effectively show love to an individual, I must show it in a way that they understand it! This communication is an essential part of loving leadership.
Sports devotees are often very annoyed at "fair weather fans" and are proud to be called "die-hard fans." Are you a leader who loves only in "fair weather"? Love must be shown consistently, even throughout conflict, if it is to leave a lasting impression.
Loving others does not mean that I cannot and will not be benefitted by them, but it certainly must mean that I will work toward their good even if it gives me no personal gain.
Those we seek to lovingly influence must truly accept that they are unconditionally loved and experience that for an extended amount of time in order for any positive growth to occur. This is especially for individuals who have damaged self-esteems and think little of their own value. (I should know... I have been one of those people!)
Many people feel as though conflict is the death of love. It makes sense, doesn't it? With disposable relationships and being surrounded by so many "friends" (i.e. Facebook) that don't really know who we are, it is easy to understand why we can fall into the trap of believing that love cannot outlast conflict. That also provides leaders who love with a great opportunity to impress love on others through consistency and reinforcement during conflict!
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